How It Works
When Killing Bed Bugs

There are several ways to kill bed bugs; therefore you have options.  Below is a list of the different types of treatments for bed bugs and we will discuss how each of them work.

Bed bugs are very small insects or parasitic insects that reproduce quickly.  They tend to feed on human blood as their source of food.

Treating as early as possible is critical if you want to be successful when getting rid of bed bugs.  Below we will discuss the different ways to get rid of bed bugs and how it works for each way.

The most commonly infested areas are the mattress and boxsprings of your bed, but don't forget about carpets and baseboards.  Traditional treatments such as pesticides are not the only treatments which are in demand.  These treatments are repetitive, very labor intensive and can be very costly.

Bed Bugs dwell in many areas in a room.  Below is an info graphic showing where to look for bed bugs and which areas are most commonly infested.

bed bug commonly infested areas

Below is a list of Bed Bug Treatments, and How They Work


Natural Treatments - How It Works

Natural Treatments - When looking for a natural solution to get rid of a bed bug infestation, remember to verify that the natural bed bug spray has been listed as the approved ingredients to kill bed bugs.  A list copied directly from the EPA website is listed below for your review.

The EPA has compiled a listing of ingredients called Minimum risk pesticides; these are a special class of natural and safe pesticides that are not regulated or questioned by the Federal Regulations Department because their ingredients, both active and inert, are demonstrably safe.

Using natural pesticides is normally the choice people pick when pets, small children or the elderly are involved.   There are choices such as natural bed bug sprays with the ingredients listed below, natural diatomaceous earth, steam or even trapping them in ClimbUp Interceptors.

Natural Bed Bug sprays are normally Contact Sprays and normally used around your bedding or where small children or pets dwell.  Many use the residual bed bug sprays in other areas.

Using the natural treatments does not require you to leave your home because there are no pesticides.  These natural bed bug treatments must qualify and meet certain criteria.

Condition #1 - The ACTIVE ingredients can only be used from the listing below.  The active ingredient of a product is the ingredient that kills, destroys, mitigates, or repels pests named on the product label.

Condition #2 - The INERT ingredients can only be used from the listing here.

Condition #3 - The Active and Inert ingredients must ALL be listed on the label.

Condition #4 & #5 - Deal with claims being made by the EPA or any governmental agency.  No claims can be made.

EPA  Lists the Active Ingredients  which are Exempted Under 25(b) of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, & Rodenticide Act

* indicates exempt active ingredients that are also exempt from pesticide residue tolerance requirements

Castor oil (U.S.P. or equivalent)* Linseed oil
Cedar oil Malic acid
Cinnamon and cinnamon oil* Mint and mint oil
Citric acid* Peppermint and peppermint oil*
Citronella and Citronella oil 2-Phenethyl propionate (2-phenylethyl propionate)
Cloves and clove oil* Potassium sorbate*
Corn gluten meal* Putrescent whole egg solids
Corn oil* Rosemary and rosemary oil*
Cottonseed oil* Sesame (includes ground sesame plant) and sesame oil*
Dried Blood Sodium chloride (common salt) *
Eugenol Sodium lauryl sulfate
Garlic and garlic oil* Soybean oil
Geraniol* Thyme and thyme oil*
Geranium oil White pepper
Lauryl sulfate Zinc metal strips (consisting solely of zinc metal and impurities)
Lemongrass oil


Bed Bug Dogs Are Also a Natural Way To Detect Bed Bugs

Another natural way of getting rid of bed bugs is through bed bug dogs.  Dogs are now being trained to find bed bugs.  We've discovered that dogs have a powerful sense of smell and dogs can sniff out bed bugs and their eggs from anywhere these critters choose to hide.

We've known for years that bed bugs are trainable and they work really good for law enforcements and even as guide dogs.  With that said, they are also a big help in detecting bed bugs in your home.  These dogs can smell through the walls, through the floor, and even bedding long before we even see them.

Dogs are smaller than exterminator inspectors and they get to these areas to sniff.  By finding these bed bugs quicker allows a person to treat for bed bugs more aggressively and eliminate the problem before it becomes overwhelming.

These dogs actually can detect bed bugs within 2 or 3 minutes!  Using a trained bed bug-sniffing dog, will decrease the need for invasive visual inspections.  Additionally pinpointing the exact locations is more productive before they become obvious.

Other Resources on Natural Treatments and how they work

Silicon Valley Fitness: Non-toxic bed bug spray - travel size
Take Nature-Cide's Travel Bed Bug Spray with you when you travel. Carry-on acceptable. 100% Natural. Stain Free. Pleasant odor. Protect yourself by using at the office, airplane, movie theater, taxi cab, luggage, and hotel ...

Pesticide Treatments - How it works

Pesticide Treatments - Most people think that killing bedbugs using pesticides is the best way to get rid of them, but truth be known, these critters have developed a resistant to the pesticides and in many case, do nothing to the bed bugs.

Pyrethroid insecticides are the most common to use and at one time was the most effective, but not anymore.  There is growing interest in both synthetic pyrethroid and the pyrrole insecticide, chlorfenapyr. Insect growth regulators, such as hydroprene (Gentrol), are also sometimes used. ( "How to Manage Pests Pests of Homes, Structures, People, and Pets").

Pesticide resistance in reference to bed bugs is increasing dramatically throughout the United States. More and more states are reporting an epidemic of bed bugs due to increase in travel.  Even 4 and 5 star hotels are reported as having bed bugs in their rooms.

Different Populations were initually sampled across the US; these testings and statistics showed a tolerance for pyrethroids or permethryn which is several 1,000's times greater than bed bugs produced in laboratories.    The Bed Bugs in New York City are found to be 264 more resistant to a pesticide called deltamethrin than other states such as Florida.

Because of the resistance to the pesticides, more natural alternatives have been used such as:

  • EPA Approved Natural Ingredients for Bed Bug Sprays
  • Diatomaceous Earth
  • Steam
  • Vacuuming
  • Preventative measures
  • Cold Treatments

The EPA, CDC and other governmental agencies have gotten involved in the bed bug epidemic.  The agenda consisted of the following:

  1. Adding new products by expediting registrations.
  2. Added testing of bed bugs from pyrethroid-resistant strains and field populations
  3. Second National Bed Bug Summit in 2011 to educate people
  4. IPM/bed bug training is greatly needed
  5. Read more here

Other Resources on Pesticide Treatments and how they work

Bed Bug Myths | SNIFF K9s
Pyrethrum sprays are marketed as bed bug killers and are some of the most popular choices in bed bug insecticide on the market these days. They are much safer and more natural than DDT, a potentially cancer-causing pesticide that was ...

Bedlam 17 oz Insecticide Spray Kills Bed Bugs, Lice & Dust Mites
Bedlam Insecticide is a convenient and ready to use spray in an aerosol can designed to control bed bugs, lice, ticks, fleas, and dust mites on contact. Bedlam Insecticide is water-based and non-irritating so it is gentle enough ...

How To Avoid Bed Bugs: Will Regular Bug Spray Be Effective?
Another drawback to store-bought bug sprays is that their active ingredient is a synthetic pyrethroid, despite the fact that research and practical field experience by pest control specialists are revealing that bed bugs are ...

Disposal of Contaminated Belongings

Disposal of Contaminated Belongings - Properly disposing clothing, bedding, luggage, etc can greatly reduce your bed bug infestation.

Disposal Suggestions:

  • When traveling, always bag your clothes in your luggage.
  • When you arrive home, unpack outside the home and shake your clothes before bringing them into the house.
  • Dirty clothes should also be shook outside; then immediately thrown in the washer.
  • When vacuuming, always remove the vacuum cleaner bag immediately and throw the bag away outside the home.  Do not put it in the trash in your kitchen.
  • There is no need to dispose of your mattress and box spring.  Vacuum them with the tool for vacuuming cracks and crevices.   Then bag them with a bed bug proof mattress cover.  IF you missed any eggs, and they hatch later, they will not be able to come out the special bed bug mattress cover or protector.
  • There is no need to dispose of infested furniture; take everything out, wipe down and bag the items in the drawers and bring them outside.  Shake the clothes outside and spray the drawers with a natural bed bug spray and add diatomaceous earth.
  • Bag clothes in closets and take them out the house until the eggs have hatched and the adults die.
  • If you are using Climbup Interceptors, dispose of the bed bugs and wash the interceptors outdoors.

Other Resources on Disposal Suggestion and how it works

Bed Bug Blog: Bed Bug Heat Treatments vs. Liquid, fume, etc...
According to a 2005 survey, only 6.1% of companies claim to be able to eliminate bed bugs in a single visit, while 62.6% claim to be able to control a problem in 2-3 visits. Insecticide ... Disposal of contaminated belongings ...

Vacuuming Bed Bugs and Eggs & How it works

Vacuuming is a critical step when permanently getting rid of bed bugs.  It is critical to understand the steps below.

  1. Begin by vacuuming your mattress and box spring making sure you also use the crack and crevice tool to get around the cording areas.  Spend a lot of time making sure you've got all the eggs.
    1. Then clean the mattress by wiping it down with a hospital grade disinfectant spray to get rid of the bed bug drippings and removing the stains.
    2. Then put the mattress in a seal bed bug mattress cover.  If you have missed any eggs, once they hatch, the new bed bugs will die.
  2. Vacuum the carpets next, taking your time to remove not only bed bugs, but also the eggs.  Remember to vacuum around the baseboards using the cracks and crevice tool.
  3. Vacuum drapes and curtains.
  4. Remove everything from your chest of drawers and dressers and bag the items.  Then vacuum the drawers clean.
  5. Remove everything from your closets and vacuum the closets.

Other Resources on Vacuuming Suggestions and how it works

Best method to eradicate bed bugs - Dead Bed Bug Blog
A person could also vacuum a floor as well as any sort of infested spots in your house like mattresses, tufts, seams as well as bedding edges. Remember that bedbugs and also their eggs be capable of cling to surfaces ...

Home Remedies To Kill Bed Bugs - Natural Treatments & Cure For ...
Natural Remedies To Kill Bed Bugs. Vacuum Cleaning. Vacuum cleaning is one of the best ways by which most of the bugs can be removed in a swish. Vacuuming will trap all the bugs into the suction air and the bugs can be ...

Hot Treatments

Heat Treatments - There are several known heat treatments when treating for bed bugs.  The traditional treatments consist of :

  1. Steam Cleaning
  2. Heat from running things in the dryer
  3. Hot temperatures in a room

One of the most simple ways to kill all stages of bed bugs is by steaming them dead.  Steam cleaning is very tedious and very labor intensive; but it works!  One thing is that steam may damage materials or even wooden surfaces if used incorrectly.  Additionally, if you steam too much, mold could become prevalant if not aired properly from the moisture.

You will want to steam the mattress, box spring, bed clothes, bed pillows and any thing else in the infested room; even carpets and curtains.

It is a good idea to run clothes from the closet or in chest of drawers in the clothes dryer.  Heat is your friend and will kill bedbugs and dehydrate the eggs.

Adding heat in a bedroom and changing the temperature to very hot circumstances will kill the bed bugs.  Using heat from an exterminator is very expensive; therefore keeping a room heated to very high temperatures does the same thing over 36 hours.

Other Resources on Using Heat Treatment Suggestions and how it works

Why Prefer Heat Treatment to Eliminate Bed Bugs « acpest1
I searched for some of the ways to get rid of bed bugs, for instance: using pesticides, physical isolation, inorganic materials, disposal of contaminated belongings, vacuuming, cold and heat treatment. According to my analysis, ...

Cold Treatments

Cold Treatments - Bed bugs are very sensitive to temperature and do not adapt very well to cold temperatures.  Using cold treatments are very inexpensive and easy to do by using a good cold airflow in the areas where bed bugs are dwelling.  When cold air is present, the bed bug population plummets in about 10 days.

Add a few desk top fans, portable a/c units and ceiling fans to a room.  Make sure these fans circulate the air for several hours a day in the room that is infested.  It is recommended that no one sleeps in the room until the bed bugs are all dead.

Other Resources on Using Cold Treatment Suggestions and how it works

Killing Bed Bugs With Cold Air: Does This Practice Work?
More important than the hassle of killing bed bugs with cold air is that—unless you turn your entire residence into an icicle—you're only treating the symptoms of the problem. Treating your bed, bedding, and clothes won't get ...

Home Remedies To Kill Bed Bugs - Natural Treatments & Cure For ...
Bed bugs can also be killed by treating them with extreme cold. During winter season, this becomes an easy task as all the upholstery and furniture can be left outside under the harsh winter climate. Clothes and other smaller ...

 What Kills Bed Bugs: Finding the Right Weapon for an Infestation ...
Freezing temperatures can also kill bed bugs, although they may survive for a few hours. Bed bug eggs, however, are quite hardy, and may survive 30 to 60 days of freezing temperatures. Cold treatment is less than ideal in many situations ...

Other Related Articles

External Links

NPMA Bed Bug Fact Sheet - tips and information on treating bed bugs, health threats, prevention tips

Bedbugs: Infestations, Bedbug Bites, and Getting Rid of discusses what bedbugs are, signs you have a bedbug infestation, and how to exterminate them. ... Teen Acne: Myths and Facts · Skin Care for Lupus ...

Bed Bugs | University of Kentucky 10, 2010 – Until fairly recently, most people (and even pest control professionals) had never seen a bed bug. Bed bug infestations actually used to be very ...

CDC - EHS - Topics - Bed Bugs

Aug 15, 2012 – Links to information from outside CDC ... Bed Bugs Fact Sheet [PDF - 169 KB] (New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services) – fact ...



Wikipedia -, Retrieved 10/10/12

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Bed Bug Dogs, Retrieved 10/10/12

"How to Manage Pests Pests of Homes, Structures, People, and Pets". UC IPM Online (Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program, UC Davis). Retrieved 10/10/12

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